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What DAC?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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I want to complete a hookup of my iTunes library (lossless) via Airport Express to my stereo (Nakamichi RE10 AV receiver and Sonus Faber Concertino speakers). I have tried the analogue audio output from the Express and the sound is pretty good but understand that I should get a much better result by hooking a DAC to the Express and converting the digital feed into my RE10.

Is this going to provide my best chance to get close to separates quality?

 And if so what DAC is a good without being over the top (for my kit) purchase. I have seen DAC's ranging from Squeezebox Duet at A$500 (not sure if this will actually do what I want) through to the same company's Transporter at over A$3000 - and lots in between. 
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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The Duet and the Transporter are not actually DACs per se (though the Transporter may allow you to input a digital signal to use its internal processor, I forget) - they are actually more akin to the airport express itself, adding a nifty graphic remote so you can control music directly, rather than through iTunes (in the case of the Duet), and a display and audiophile credentials (in the case of the Transporter).

It is possible to buy just a DAC - Beresford make the TC-7510, which is the cheapest one I'm aware of, but there are others (am looking at the Moonlab Dice around 250 sterling), up to and exceeding the price of the transporter.

Can I just add though that my Airport Express sounds pretty good on its own through good amplification, and I would be more inclined to go easy on DAC expenditure (the Beresford would be my max) and spend more money on an amp - those Fabers could handle a lot more than the Nak could deliver, I'll wager.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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JohnDuncan:Sorry, that wasn't funny was it. How much did you get the Stello for, TM?

Would I be accused of advertising! The DP200 (with all the options) cost £2500
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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JohnDuncan:Not by me. But ouch!

Bargain! if you consider it has "class A" preamp and high quality phono stage build in :)
 

VoodooDoctor

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Sep 23, 2007
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I bought the Benchmark DAC-1 USB to run from my iMac. Fantastic. Really wide soundstage and very detailed. Also comes with a built-in headphone amplifier. £900-ish, best money I've spent for a long time.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I would look at the PS Audio Digital Link III for £799 (if funds permit)...superb piece of kit apparently and hooks straight into the USB port of any computer.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Thaiman:JohnDuncan:Not by me. But ouch!

Bargain! if you consider it has "class A" preamp and high quality phono stage build in :)
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Thaiman:JohnDuncan:Not by me. But ouch! Bargain! if you consider it has "class A" preamp and high quality phono stage build in :)

... then add 2 x 250w amps, 2 x 70w amps and a pair of excellent standmounts, all for a third of the price and what do you have ... ?


Sorry, under half price.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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drummerman:
Thaiman:JohnDuncan:Not by me. But ouch! Bargain! if you consider it has "class A" preamp and high quality phono stage build in :)

... then add 2 x 250w amps, 2 x 70w amps and a pair of excellent standmounts, all for a third of the price and what do you have ... ?


Sorry, under half price.

come again DM? What do you mean buddy?
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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Thaiman:drummerman:

Thaiman:JohnDuncan:Not by me. But ouch! Bargain! if you consider it has "class A" preamp and high quality phono stage build in :)

... then add 2 x 250w amps, 2 x 70w amps and a pair of excellent standmounts, all for a third of the price and what do you have ... ?


Sorry, under half price.

come again DM? What do you mean buddy?

Without wanting to be accused of advertising either ... AVI ADM9. Another bargain imo if the sound suits.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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Ah that pair, I heard many good things (and not just from you)

Never heard them myself as I love my Acoustic Zen too much to even bother demo other speakers at the moment (Without wanting to be accused of advertising...)
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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Thaiman:Ah that pair, I heard many good things (and not just from you) Never heard them myself as I love my Acoustic Zen too much to even bother demo other speakers at the moment (Without wanting to be accused of advertising...)

I can imagine and I have absolutely no affiliation with Acoustic Zen, any sister companies, their employees, families or pets.
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
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I am very happy (to the point where I see no further need to upgrade) with the sound of the Harmony DA9 DAC I have just ordered.
Its been compared directly (locally) with the Benchmark, and comes out tops, and I have to say, I have never heard my music sound so sweet. And it works out at less than £500

(and my kind hifi shop have loaned me the demo model for the time being)

harmony (in swedish)

er and I'm not advertising either (whats that all about btw)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for all the input. Lots of followup research including seeing which of these has made it to Oz. One further question - I had heard that some CDP's include a digital input (Cambridge 704c was mentioned) - is this a better (as good a sound and cheaper, more versatile) way to go?
 

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